Sprinkled ashes, COVID-19 changes, for people returning to worship


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ashes sprinkled on the head instead of marked on the forehead is one of several changes that people will see as they return to church for Lent.

At Our Lady of Peace in Clintonville, Father Sean Dooley prepared to sprinkle ashes on top of parishioners’ heads for Ash Wednesday mass. He spoke about the differences people will find if they’re returning to services after a year’s break due to COVID-19.

“This year the world-wide church wanted to take special precautions due to COVID-19,” said Fr. Dooley. “We’ll be sprinkling the ashes on the head. This is a new reality in the United states, but in other parts of the world and especially in Europe this is a common practice that the Church does.”

But this is not the only change that people who are returning to church will see. “One is the distribution of communion – we are not distributing from the cup right now. Also, there is no sign of peace.

“Holy water has been removed from the church for the time being. We are also practicing wearing our masks and practicing social distancing. In the liturgy they will find less music, and we really hope to bring that back once the virus goes away,” Fr. Dooley said.

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